Tag Archives: Behaviour

New phrase for incorrect eating habits to wake you up and encourage your curiosity

Functional Behavioural Problems

What does this mean?  Mindless eating habits conditioned by the environment that are unconscious. A couple of examples of what this mean could be;

Size of plate – using a 14 inch plate and a 10 inch plate generally the visual appearance of the plate when full looks identical.  The thing is one plate is 4 inches bigger than the other therefore there is 4 inches more to fill up to give it the same appearance of full.  That’s over 100 percent more food!  The question is do people feel any less full eating from the 10 inch plate than the one eating the 14 inch plate.

Glasses – would you drink more from a short, fat glass than a tall skinny one? Be curious, check it out.  Watch the next time you pour into a tumbler and into a high ball glass.  Which one are you filling up more due to your perception of size?

Take time to notice what hidden conditions are adding to your potential of overeating.  For example at a restaurant they clear away the food plates between servings.  Would you eat as much food if they left the dishes on the table as a visual reminder of what you had consumed?  Next time you go out to eat make a conscious choice to only order the entrée and notice if you are any less full at the end, than you are when you have had apps., a starter, entrée, dessert and coffee. Perhaps only have one other plus the entrée.  Experience and begin to notice the differences in your experiences.

These ideas came from Brian Wansink, PhD who calls himself a behavioural engineer that he developed through his experience of tests and experiments in the psychology of eating (and overeating) at Cornell University that he calls, Mindless Eating: How Environmental Cues Affect Our Food Choices.  He has written a book and continues his work that discusses subjectivity, a balanced way to lose weight based upon not creating or adding a sense of rightness or wrongness to your experience.  It breaks through the mindlessness of eating through promoting curiosity and exploration.

I particularly like his concepts for the subjectivity of creating variety and beauty in the school lunch lines that promote fruit and vegetables.  It was as simple as putting the fruit into a nice bowl, and placing it in the line up under good lighting and to give the veggies exotic names to increase the consumption in the 100 percent’s!   His goal wasn’t to punish the kids by taking away their chocolate milk!

He promotes becoming nutritional gatekeepers.

check it out at mindlesseating.org